Finding the Right Wedding Photographer for You, Part 2

fun engagement photo

My first post on finding the right photographer discussed looking over wedding photos to determine which photographers would best suit your needs. Once you’ve decided on a few photographers who fit the bill, here’s what to ask them — either by phone or email — and what to look for in your initial interaction with them.

  1. Ask about their availability for your wedding date. There’s no sense spending time asking all these questions if they’re not available.
  2. Many photographers don’t post their rates, so ask for their rates upfront. I recommend having a range in mind that you’re comfortable paying before talking to photographers. If their rate is above that range, feel free to ask if they’re flexible. Some will be, some won’t. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
  3. What packages do they offer? (If they have a PDF on pricing, packages will likely be included in this.) More important, what photos do you want of your wedding experience? Potential package options might include: wedding photos (some photographers have a specific amount of hours they’ll devote to weddings and charge an additional fee if you want them for longer), engagement photos, bridal portraits, trash or rock the dress sessions, boudoir sessions, photo albums and party booths, which mimic the experience of a photo booth.
  4. If most packages include an element you’re not interested in, don’t be afraid to ask if it can be switched out for something else. For example, Robert and I knew we didn’t want engagement photos because we didn’t have time to devote to a shoot during our short visits to Tennessee to plan our wedding, so we often asked whether engagement photos could be switched out for a different service. Photographers were amenable to this, though sometimes they would slightly adjust the package cost if the switch wasn’t apples to apples.
  5. Do they respond quickly enough for you? Thoroughly enough? Just because they’re a good photographer doesn’t mean they’re a good businessman or woman. You want a professional.

If you feel satisfied with all the above, request a meeting with them. If logistics makes meeting in person tricky, then set up a Skype meeting — that’s what Robert and I did.  Even if you’ve never Skyped before, I recommend it instead of a phone call because it helps to see a person and the reactions to what’s said.

Resist the urge to hire them via email without a meeting.  Their demeanor and your ability to relate to each other is an important part of whether or not they should be your photographer! You can start you search for one here.

Stay tuned for more posts on finding the photographer for you! And check out our Awesome Wedding Photo pinboard — and follow us on Facebook and Twitter while you’re at it!

Photo by Emin Kuliyev Photography

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